I have two full days (counting today) left until I get in my car and drive back to school, and as excited as I am, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much different going to school this year feels. There are so many things that have changed since last August. Some things changed for the better, some for the worse, but alas, the past year of my life has been riddled with change. Last August, I was packing quite chaotically to leave for school, and I consistently reminded people of when I left so that I made sure to see everyone before I was gone. This year, I have been so stressed out that I kind of forgot I actually leave on Sunday. In my mind, I still have time to spend with my family, I still have time to see my friends, and I still have time for last minute packing. Last August, I always had this giddy/nervous feeling in my stomach because I knew I was leaving home, and all the things that were familiar, to start a new chapter of my life with all the lovely gems that are the Saint Mary’s family. . I have this ball in my stomach, a bundle of nerves and excitement, and I know it’s because I have a lot of responsibility waiting for me on campus. I’m going to be a Weekend of Welcome leader for the incoming freshman this year, which is why I’m moving back so early, and this idea is both exciting and nerve-racking. I’m so excited to see my friends, though, and all the people I grew to be so close to in the last year. I feel like I always get a little nervous to see people I haven’t seen in a while, maybe because I fear it’ll be different than I remembered, or maybe I just fear something has changed.
It’s funny to me, though, looking back at all the events that transpired last year, and what the outcome of those events did to shape the person I am now. I feel like unless something obviously major happens, change is subtle. A lot of the time I feel like I’m not actually that different, and things around me aren’t really changing, but then I take a moment to step back and really evaluate my life at a given point, and I realize just how much I’ve lost or gained.
Change is inevitable, and everything in our lives is basically a crossroads, where we have to make a decision that will carry us in a certain direction. But sometimes the roads are blurry, and they begin to look the same, and it’s impossible to know which road to go down because the outcomes are so frighteningly unknown. Most the time people say that they make a decision because it’s what’s right, or it’s the right thing to do, but how do we really know? We can’t go back and unmake a decision to figure out what would have turned out differently, which is why I think it’s more that you make a decision based on what appears right (but may not actually be right), and then you just go with it, and deal with the outcome when you find it. I think there are two philosophies that people live by, though, when making decisions: 1) choose whatever is going to protect, benefit, or help you and 2) do what you believe to be right, but that also takes in the consideration of others.
Decisions yield change, and I feel like without decisions, we wouldn’t make progress, we would never change course when we need to, we wouldn’t be able to see that the road you chose originally is wrong, and that you should backtrack slightly and take a left instead of a right. The quote from Just One Day, “Sometimes the best way to figure out what you’re supposed to do is doing what you’re not supposed to do,” comes to mind. So, maybe if you’re having trouble what’s “right” do what you think is “wrong,” and see what happens. It may surprise you, it may frighten you, but it may also bring you peace. The scariest thing in life is decisions, but hell, without them you may never know what you’re doing, who you are, or who you want to be. Some food for thought, I suppose. How do you make decisions? Or do you even make them?